Vice Captain and a regular leader on the field, with 23 appearances as Captain, French legend Betsen has agreed a one year extension to the two year deal he signed at the start of the 2008/09 season. Joining the men in black and gold after 17 years with Biarritz and an illustrious international career, including 63 Caps for his country, Betsen has quickly become one of the core figures at Wasps. The news of his desire to continue in black and gold comes just one week before his 36th birthday and on the day of his 45th Club game.
Prop Ben Broster, who joined the men in black and gold at the start of the 2009/10 season, has also committed his future to the Club by signing a further two year deal. Broster has made 23 appearances since joining the Londoners and has offered consistency in the front row during a season where Wasps have struggled with significant injury concerns, especially in the pack. A capped Welsh international, Broster made his debut on the tour of North America in 2005.
Broster’s front row colleague, Joe Ward, is the third player to re-sign with the Club. The New Zealand-born hooker has signed a new two year contract. He joined the Club in 2005 and has now made over a hundred appearances, as well as collecting recognition with the England Saxons. With Ward, Rob Webber and Tom Lindsay all vying for the number 2 jersey, and all committed to the Club for the next two years, Wasps are showing real health in the hooker position.
Completing the quartet of contract extensions is flanker Will Matthews – an Academy player who has agreed a two year deal as part of the senior squad. A former member of the Gloucester Academy and England Sevens player with eight tournments to his name, he made his first team debut this season and has become a regular asset to the 1XV making 17 appearances.
On the news, Director of Rugby Tony Hanks said, “The four players announced today reflect the diversity of the London Wasps squad. Betsen is a rugby legend and has quickly become a Wasps favourite with fans. He has continued the trend of established world class players like Howley, Dowd, Dawson and Ibanez joining Wasps near what has been perceived to be the end of their careers, yet rejuvenating their form and ambition in the game. He is a leader and a great ambassador for the Club and we are delighted he will wear black and gold for another season.
“Joe, one of our Kiwi Englishmen, is a popular squad member with a vast amount of professional experience which gives us that great depth and competition in the hooking position which is hugely important. Ben has re-established himself as a Premiership quality prop and has fitted into the squad very well, whilst Will has overcome serious injuries to play a number of games and make a real contribution. He is yet another player who has flourished in our Academy set-up, gaining a senior contract along with the likes of Tom Lindsay and Bob Baker.
“I think what you can see at Wasps is the trend of players enjoying and committing to the Club - 13 players re-signed last season and the numbers look very healthy again this season. It gives us a boost as we see a healthy squad take shape for 2010/2011 but of course, for now, all eyes are very much focused on this season and performing well in domestic and European competitions.”
Ben Broster - “I am very happy to sign with Wasps, I have really enjoyed this season so far and have been able to get a lot of rugby under my belt. I have relished that opportunity and I hope I’ve taken my chance and that has been rewarded with another deal. The Club has a great spirit and ethic about it – we play hard and train hard and that is across every facet of the Club on the pitch and off. Myself and my fiancé have been made very welcome and I am delighted to commit to the Club for the next two years.”